This year, Operation Orion will be heading to Nepal for the first time in her history!
We will be collaborating with Living Hope Nepal (LHN), a non-governmental organisation based in Nepal.
We will be having our project at Methinkot VDC, Kavre District, an area which was struck by the April 2015 earthquake. The primary plan is to build a new classroom block for the local village school, Shree Krishna Lower Secondary School. The school buildings were badly damaged during the earthquake. Two of the classroom blocks collapsed entirely, and the remaining blocks are left with servere cracks, leaving them unsafe for the students to study in.
Remains of collapsed mud-plastered classrooms
Currently, lessons are held in temporary classrooms built by local volunteers after the earthquake. These make-shift classrooms are made from logs and zinc sheets which are not structurally safe. The poor insulation also caused the classroom to be extremely hot during the summer and cold during the winter. Thus, making the environment unsafe and unconducive for learning.
Exterior and interior of temporary classrooms made from zinc sheets and logs
In addition, as the school is one of the only few schools nearby offering secondary education, it has around 160 students from Class 1 to Class 8. The temporary classrooms are not sufficient to accomdate the population even after the construction of new classrooms from the salvaged bricks.
Classes combined due to lack of classrooms
The primary objective of Operation Orion 2016 is to create and environment much more safer and conducive for learning. We hope to raise sufficient funds to construct 2 classroom blocks. This design of the classroom block is approved by the local authorities. The classrooms block will be a brick structure with concrete mortar. It will be built on reinforced foundation, with double brick walls and reinforced columns and beams, which will be much more durable than the old mud-plastered classrooms. We have considered other options and decided on our structure due to the availability of resources and expertise in Nepal. To further improve the seismic performance of the building, under the guidance of our professor, we have come up with a few modifications to the existing design retrofitting the walls with wire mesh on both side before the walls are plastered and to add in bracing bars for the beams and columns.
Designs of classroom blocks (building in progress and completion)
We hope that with a proper primary school education and a proper environment, more students will be motivated to obtain secondary level educations and advance on in their education paths.
Other than the primary project of building classroom blocks, we have also came up with various side projects, with hopes to benefit the local community:
- Cost efficient water filter
- The villagers generally get their drinking water from tube wells, and lack the knowledge and tools to filter the water off particles before consuming them. The plan is to come up with an improvised water filter that can be easily make with locally available materials, as the resource needed for a standard biosand filter is not readily available, and villagers are not able to afford a it.
- Lighting up homes of victims of earthquakes
- Some of the villages are still staying in simple oval zinc huts with no windows, making it dark during both day and night. We hope to fit some of the huts with solar light bulbs or PET bottle lights to bring light into the home.
- Education and demonstrations
- We will be having science demonstrations and english lessons with the local school to enhance their learning. Some of the demonstrations include building of simple water heating system using solar energy, and simple structure building contest. We hope that such demonstrations and inspire their interest and provide them with ideas of small projects that they can do on their own to improve their daily life.
We hope that both the locals and the members of Operation Orion will be able to gain some valuable learnings in the project, and that the project will serve as an opportunities for our members to learn and appreciate their lives here in Singapore. We also wish to help every member of the team achieve their potential as leaders.
If you are interested in sponsoring or working with us, please email us at email@example.com.
Operation Orion 2016